Availability and Cost of IDs Could Curtail Latino Voting


Poor Latinos, blacks and rural residents have more trouble obtaining ID cards for voting, according to a recent report by the Brennan Center for Justice. More than a million minority voters could be disenfranchised.
The report identifies 10 states that have “unprecedented restrictive” voter ID laws: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, according to a recent article in latinalista.com.
More than 1 million voters in these states fall below the federal poverty line and live more than 10 miles from their nearest ID-issuing office. These voters may be unable to afford the costs of the documentation required to obtain a photo ID. Birth certificates can cost between $8 and $25, and marriage licenses, required for married women whose birth certificates include a maiden name, can cost between $8 and $20, according to the article.
Each of these states is requiring citizens to produce certain types of government-issued photo IDs before being allowed to vote. The report shows 11 percent of the population doesn’t have a photo ID.
Nationwide, 1.2 million black voters and 500,000 Latino voters live more than 10 miles from their nearest ID-issuing office. In addition, many ID offices have limited business hours and some are only open a few times a year, according to the article.
According to the report, the 10 states that have new voter ID laws account for almost half of the electoral votes needed for either candidate to win the presidency.
Photo via Creative Commons © John Morton